Marion Bataille

Paris based graphic and book designer Marion Bataille first published book in the United States.

Kate Dawkins


Vienna's Natural History Museum

I love natural history museums.


The Future

Update: Watched it and wrote a review here.

Berkeley raised talented Miranda July has a new film out. I'm really psyched to watch it, it already has raving reviews from reliable sources of this sort of taste. Me You and Everyone We Know was a shocking piece of contemporary art cinema. I have no doubt this one will be too.

MJ Articles on The New Yorker:
The Make Believer
Something that Needs Nothing
Roy Spivey
Atlanta Update 10-3-11:
Free Everything


The Spanish Invasion

San Francisco's summer might have gotten a chilly start, but it has been a warm and welcoming host to its visitors and those of us living in the bay area, with such a vast variety of exquisite cultural experiences to enrich and indulge our senses to choose from.

This summer is all about modernism and the Spanish in the cultural riches of San Francisco's popular art venues. People are coming from all over to get a glance at Balenciaga and Spain, exhibiting at the deYoung until July 4th. The museum's curators explain it beautifully, "the exhibit examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga. The impact of Spanish culture, history, and traditions is explored through the recurring themes in Balenciaga’s oeuvre and organized in the exhibition in six sections: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, the Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance. Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue, is guest curator. Objects are drawn from museums and private collections in France, Spain, and the United States, including the FAMSF collection."

Everyone knows how much I love beautiful dresses. Click here to view some photos I managed of the beauties displayed...

Another Spaniard on spotlight is the always fascinating and most influential of the avant-garde Picasso, also at the deYoung museum. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view and examine more than 100 of his masterpieces from every phase of the artist’s career, on loan from the permanent collection of Paris’ world-renowned Musée National Picasso. This rarity is only possible because of the temporary closure of the Musée Picasso until 2012 for extensive renovations. This exhibition will be at the de Young until October 9, 2011.

Bought a print of his Cat Catching a Bird. Which was the only one being sold from my favorite period of his painting career, his most child-like.

One of my favorite realizations from viewing all those Picasso's together was the confidence of his work. Reeling through works from the start of his career until the end was truly a formidable experience. And I have to agree with the curators of Balenciaga and Spain in that "Balenciaga shows the refinement of France and the strength of Spain."


Pulp Fashion

Great exhibit going on at the Legion of Honor until June 12 (this weekend), titled Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter that is enamored by textile and costume, and in collaboration with costume historians and fashion designers she crafts gorgeous works of art out of paper. Yes, all the works you'll see in the pictures bellow are made out of paper pulp.

The Legion of Honor curators explain, "painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world. The Legion of Honor is the first American museum to dedicate an entire exhibition to the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, although her creations have been widely displayed in Europe. Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit."

Isabelle de Borchgrave and studio collaborators at work:



Living Room: Saturday Salon at SFMOMA

Just got back from the Living Room happening at SFMOMA...
and the first of the month gallery crawl in San Francisco, and both Stein's exhibits.

Both Stein exhibits (details on my previous blog entry) were a wealth of education — very interesting.

The gallery walk was a nice effort by the Yerba Buena Allience to spice up the SOMA art district, and maybe it was the stormy weather (my mood sometimes gets affected by the weather), but it was "eh," not even the wine tasting at the galleries lifted my mood. The crowd wasn't happening and none of the art work inspired me.

As far as the Living Room happening at MOMA, I think the concept of inviting artists and literati to share personal recollections of Bay Area avant-garde histories was great. But it wasn't so brilliantly executed I should say. I was a little bit underwhelmed and think perhaps they didn't have a diverse enough group to have made it even close to the experience I was expecting. But it was a good idea never the less. I think it would've been interesting to have more of whom I consider vanguard telling these stories. One person that comes to mind whom I recently saw perform at the Zellerbach Auditorium of UC Berkeley, whom I consider vanguard in the way she utilizes new multi-media in her performing arts, and who comes from the bay area scene, would be Laurie Anderson. I did enjoy the young poet Lindsey Boldt honest account of her experience with the Poetic Labor Conference; Terry Castle's quirky anti-vanguard humor amused me; and a few quotes from other artists/poets here and there I could relate to on experiencing the magic of being a creative living in the psychic San Francisco Bay Area. I wasn't too thrilled with very many of the readings either. But that was happening in the hall and I missed a lot. I've enjoyed quite a bit of good readings here in the bay though.

My favorite, and what I would call vanguard experiences here in the bay area, remain shows at art houses, private artist happenings, shows at smaller venues in Oakland and SF, and Mills college. But I guess you have to be in the in and in the know to know of those. Just like all the artists, artists' friends, and collectors that went to Gertrude Stein's Saturday salon gatherings in Paris.


Just Saw, Just Found Out: My Bay Area Summer Starts

Went out for dinner with a friend and found Midnight in Paris playing at the theater right across the street from the restaurant and had to catch it. Loved it. It's charming and magical, a most see for anybody into art, literature, Paris, and magic.

Also just found out that a little bit of the movie is coming to life here in the bay. It so happens that the writer Gertrude Stein, who was raised nearby in Oakland, is one of the characters of Midnight in Paris, and apparently SF is the place for modernism this summer, with the exhibits Seeing Gertrude Stein showing at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and The Steins Collect showing at SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). As an extension of the exhibit, SFMOMA is also recreating the Stein family's Saturday salon in their Paris apartment by inviting avant-garde artists and writers of this period to their Living Room. In keeping with the spirit of those informal gatherings, the artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, and others, will be gracing us with their personal recollections of Bay Area avant-garde histories. This will take place at their Schwab Room from 11:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m on Saturday, June 4th.

Another character in the movie, the always fascinating and most influential of the avant-garde Picasso (Oh no, am I giving too much away?!), will also be on display this summer at the deYoung museum until October 9, 2011. We've all seen a Picasso here and there but this one will be massive, a one in a lifetime experience. I'll post more about why after I go see it.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Picasso's as well as the Stein's collection in person, and transporting myself to "A Movable Feast" era; a time when the beautiful city of Paris was the mecca for the arts.



I can't believe it's been a year already since my beautiful nephew was born. He's all joy and happiness for his auntie. I love him sooo much. And I can't believe he's walking already! Isn't amazing how fast they learn? Look at him, walking around in his oversized diapers with his little toothbrush, grabbing anything he gets a hold of.

He's like... oh yeah, I can walk now!
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